Pay for Spouse's Attorney/SS question


Dear sandermarie:

Greetings. No, each party generally pays for their own attorney in negotiating a separation agreement. Why is your spouse unemployed?

No, I can honestly say that it is never wise to do a separation agreement on your own, since attorneys spend at least one year of their lives learning the laws surrounding contracts and then several years becoming proficient at drafting and negotiating separation agreements.

Social security is a federal entitlement program and you will have to check with them to see if you are entitled to your spouse’s benefits. Typically, a spouse is entitled to claim from their husband’s/wife’s benefits after a ten (10) year marriage.

They would never reduce your pension by the amount of social security he receives. Thank you.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Divorce
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

10925 David Taylor Drive, Suite 100
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 main fax


The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.


Fist question: My husband is basically unemployed and I want to separate. Will I have to pay for an attorney for him. Is the only option to do a separation agreement on our own. We’ve been married 35 years and there is a lot of joint property. Would that be wise - to do it ourselves. Second question: I am a government employee without social security. My husband will get social security. If he ends up getting half of my government retirement, will I be able to get half his social security? Or would they consider that when he starts to get social security that there would be a reduction in his getting 50% of my pension?